The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2011
    Posts
    12

    Question Feeding Question

    So the new barn manager informs us that she will no longer provide grain to the 'pasture board' horses as her nutrition class at school indicated that a horse can not have more than five pounds of food in their stomachs at a time and therefore they would just 'poop' all the grain out. Therefore, if a horse is out on grass, they get enough food without the grain. I was taken aback by this as it is contrary to what I had learned. I also asked the manager about supplements and the response was I don't know. They get what they need from grass. I though grass in the NE was selenium deficient.

    Am I working on an antiquated system and faulty knowledge?

    Also, buy the rules above, why would she feed grain on an empty stomach (which I always thought allowed them to bolt their food) and then put them out on 'grass'. Wouldn't that push the grain through the system too fast?

    Thanks for any assistance you can provide?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2009
    Posts
    573

    Default

    Your barn manager needs to go back and re-read those nutrition books, as well as learn about how much grass is in 5#'s of grass.

    Some horses do just fine on pasture with no grain supplementing their feed. However, they should be getting a vitamin and mineral supplement that balances their pasture. Some horses can't live on pasture alone (hello! 99% of the worlds TB's would starve on just pasture!) Those horses need a meal with some more calories (beet pulp, grain, low carb grain, alfalfa, etc). Horses in work need a bit more protein than pasture can offer.

    Feeding a horse is more of an art than a science. Your barn manager is trying to make a one size fits all program that is both cheaper and easier. It's not going to work, and she's going to lose clients. I'd be moving my horse...and he doens't get grain. He gets pasture, a little bit of hay, a ration balancer, and Se/Vit E...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    Depending on the horse, the pasture, the level of work being done by the horse, the reproductive status, the time of year (maturity of the grasses), number of horses on the pasture, size of the pasture, care given to the pasture, etc SOME horses will do fine on pasture without grain. Mine have done so over the years for the most part (at least when we actually had pasture). Your BO needs to go back and re-read the books however since horses on pasture may only have 5 lbs of grass in their stomach at any one time but will have way more than 5 pounds go THROUGH their stomach in a day of grazing. Some grass pastures in some areas will have the nutrition a horse needs while others, due to soil conditions, age and type of grass etc won't. Some horses need pasture plus hay, pasture plus grain, pasture plus hay and grain....they are individuals and one feeding program won't do for all horses.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
    Location
    Out in The Country
    Posts
    1,893

    Default

    Sounds like she has gone to an extreme and misunderstood something said at school.

    If your horse were - FOR EXAMPLE - a mustang that lived in the field - where the fields are providing and not working a job - you might be able to make a blanketed statement like that and be right most of the time.

    HOWEVER, my TBs have always needed grain, grass AND hay. Late summer grass is lower in nutrients too. I have 3 ponies - 1 does well on just pasture. My pastures are green but pretty eaten down. One of the other ponies needs just half a scoop of 12% and the other one gets an herbal supplement for allergies and it goes in a 10% feed - full scoop. All 3 ponies are pretty easy keepers - bloom coat - not fat - bright eyed - work 3-4 times a week. Notice, all three eat differently. They are the same height - one is 6 - one is 7 and one is 11. They are all pasture kept.

    If your BO doesnt use common sense....



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LaraNSpeedy View Post
    Sounds like she has gone to an extreme and misunderstood something said at school.
    Yeap...this nails it. Or perhaps so lazy she was looking for a way out of the effort of feeding.

    Some horses need little more than high quality pasture while their pasture mates starve. It takes management and not extreme applications of knowledge.

    Wish the best for you and your horse. Good luck.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thanks for all your responses - I have since left that barn and gone to a different one. Oh to have the space and barn at home!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Way to go...

    New barn manager, driving away boarders by being a know-it-all. Each horse is different....



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2002
    Location
    Idaho USA
    Posts
    1,880

    Default

    Yep. Each horse is different. We have TBs who live on grass only. They are all in steady work and are competing in eventing as high as advanced. We carefully manage our pastures and have water to irrigate them, and we have to mow to keep the grass short enough that the horses like it.

    We also have WBs who get too fat on grass and have be in the diet pens part of the day. Again, they are working horses.

    So there is no blanket statement that can be made about feeding.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jun. 13, 2012, 02:09 PM
  2. I know...Another feeding question...
    By TropicalStorm in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Dec. 13, 2011, 05:01 PM
  3. Feeding Question
    By pongo1981 in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Apr. 20, 2011, 11:09 AM
  4. Feeding question for TB
    By I'dRatherBRiding in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Mar. 27, 2011, 08:24 PM
  5. Question about feeding oil
    By 3 is the limit in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: Sep. 3, 2009, 10:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •